Daily Star Cover


The Daily Star, 6th June 2010

By Vaz Sayed

A BOOK about Wayne Rooney is threatening to derail England’s World Cup dreams.

The controversial biography, called Rooney’s Gold, has been released ahead of England’s campaign in South Africa. Rooney, 24, is said to be furious about the publication. And fans say the release could not have been more badly timed. The book, which Rooney’s representatives tried but failed to ban, details embarrassing material on the England hero. Summing up the book in sneering style, the book’s publishers say: “Rough, working class, surrounded by an unlikely crew – including a dodgy agent, a crooked lawyer, tarts and gangsters – Rooney’s Gold looks at the characters who have been attracted to the fabulous money Rooney gets for kicking a pig’s bladder around a field.”

Lifelong England supporter Darren Law, 39, of Blackburn, Lancs, said: “This is appalling timing to release a book which is bound to be so controversial. It is the last thing that Wayne Rooney and the England team needs.

“We can’t afford for our best player to be distracted by negative headlines and his private life being exposed to public ridicule.

“The publishers should have at least waited until after the World Cup for its release.” Another fan, Alan Gavan, who lives in Rooney’s village of Prestbury, Cheshire, fumed: “This is ridiculous.

“This is a great chance for England to finally lift the World Cup again and having Rooney in the right frame of mind is essential for any success.

“Printing gossip about his private life and his wealth is counter-productive.”

A source close to Rooney revealed: “He is absolutely livid. His people wanted to get the book banned but they failed.

“This book was due to be published years ago but the publishers got cold feet because they feared they could be sued because of the highly-controversial content.

“But it has had a re-write and a new publisher has taken it on. To say that Wayne is upset and angry is an understatement.

“He is even more furious about the timing of the release, which has come in the build-up to England’s campaign.

“It is a distraction that he could do without but he has to try to concentrate on his football. It is very regrettable.”

The 256-page hardback book is being published by Biteback, owned by political blogger Iain Dale. It has been written by the BBC’s investigative journalist John Sweeney. The no-holds-barred story was due to be published three years ago by Random House as their response to missing out on the official £5million five-book deal Rooney signed with Harper Collins. But Rooney’s advisers hired law firm Schillings and their legal warnings ¬persuaded Random House to shelve the project. Sweeney, who retained the copyright, persuaded Biteback to go ahead with a rewritten manuscript. Schillings has scared off WH Smith from stocking the book with further threats of legal action. But rivals Waterstone’s are believed to be putting it on sale this week.

To buy Rooney's Gold click here